The word makes me laugh now.
We are outraged.
We are outraged when terrorists attack us.We are outraged when little children fall into manholes because of civic apathy.We are outraged at all the corruption in our country.We are outraged at the abysmal poverty we see around us.We are outraged when foreigners click pictures of the real India wallowing in dirt.We are outraged when foreigners depict us in a less than flattering light in their cinema.We are outraged when a country flouting all civilized principles and rules sends us mutilated bodies of our men in uniform.We are outraged at the growing inflation in the country.
You see even under vastly different circumstances one word remains the same. Outrage.
The condition of the 23-year-old para-medical student, who was gang-raped by a group of men in a moving bus here, deteriorated this evening after which she has been put on “full-time ventilatory support”, doctors attending on her said.
We are a nation of outragers. We feel outrage at everything.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are a nation that has such screwed up priorities that it would take many, many lifetimes to straighten.
We live in one of the most misogynistic countries in the world. Deeply patriarchal. Deeply misogynistic.
Sexual assault is so common in India that news outlets often use a rubric to go with articles about rape, or reuse an illustration, photo or “bug” whenever a rape story comes up. Often these seem to have a common theme.
No, it’s not a gang of a dozen drunken men, grabbing a woman, as happened in Haryana recently, or one of men luring a little girl with candy to sexually assault her, as also actually happened, or even a more generic drawing or photo of a looming and lecherous man or group of men. Instead, almost inevitably, the art to go with a story about rape depicts a “shamed woman.” Sometimes, this woman also happens to be somewhat scantily clad.
We don’t have a glorious Indian culture. We have a glorious rape culture.
Some say it is about the new western influences. What is a man to do if not this, when a woman tempts him?
Ofcourse . The ‘tempted him’ theory works really well. What with all our apsara and rishi mythologies.
The ‘modern saints’ tempted by women of ‘loose character’ to sin. That seems pretty rational doesn’t it?
You see he didn’t really want to. He is a good boy really. From a ‘good’, ‘respectable’ family. But she was provoking him. With her clothes. With a glance perhaps? With her voice. With …… Well. Just by being a woman basically.
You get it right?
Then there is the previous generation was better argument.
This generation has been ‘corrupted’ because of western influences.
But it used to happen four decades ago too. Remember Aruna Shaunbaug?
On the same day, at around 4.50 pm, Aruna came down to the basement to change out of her hospital uniform. There are two conflicting versions on why Aruna was changing clothes in the basement. One version says that she had ignored the advice of the hospital matron to use the designated change room for changing clothes. However, another version published in the Indian Express says that there was no place allotted for the staff nurses for changing clothes. Three months before the incident, the then security officer I C Sisodiya had written to the assistant dean and matron on making it mandatory for non-resident nurses to change only in nurses’ quarters, he said. “Non resident nurses would change in any empty corner of the hospital. Shanbaug and colleague Mary Joseph regularly used the basement unit, which would be empty in the evening and unsafe for nurses. Had the nurses been using the quarters, this would have never happened,” Sisodiya said after the attack on Aruna.
Sohan Lal was subsequently arrested from Pune and a police case was registered against him for robbery and attempted murder but not for rape or sexual molestation or “unnatural sexual offence” as hospital officials had deleted parts of her medical report that proved Aruna been sodomized. This was done to ensure that she did not face any ostracism after her recovery. Sohan Lal was convicted for 7 years in jail in 1974. It is believed that had he been charged for rape, he might have got a longer jail term (up to 10 years).
This logic also states covertly that it is the women who have been ‘corrupted’. Why couldn’t they stay at home the way they were meant to? Sure, getting a job was all ‘modern’ and all but couldn’t the job have been during ‘decent’ hours? Shame. On the woman. Shame. Shame. Shame. And we consider ourselves better than this, this and this.
But ofcourse. All rapes take place during night. Maybe we should stay at home when dusk falls. We can lock ourselves up. Right after locking up the cattle.
Victim blaming. And the women indulge in it too. Does calling a rape victim names make us feel safer as a woman? Does it?
Here’s what I want.
1. Capital punishment for rapists.
And no, don’t give me the BS about a human life being so precious and castration ruining someone’s life. About how capital punishment should not be for civilized societies.
And then some more crap. That news anchors, very educated ones mind you, are asking. Even if we give capital punishment will it change anything? How can we change society’s mindset? When will men change their thinking?
All of it pure effing nonsense.
You know what will change a man’s thinking? A man who views women as commodity? As something akin to a box of popcorn? Hey! in the mood for a woman today? And then they prowl. Beasts on the hunt. Take the first woman whom they come across. Her fault? Because you see our society loves to ask this.
What was the woman doing?What was she wearing? Whom was she with? What’s her family background?
You know what will change a man’s thinking?
The terror. The mind numbing terror. The sheer terror that if he rapes a woman he will be given the death sentence and even worse that he will be castrated.
Why worse? Because in our effed up society where men view their manhood, their ‘ mardaangi’ in terms of sexual dominance, it will be the ultimate death.
Cut off the effing organ they are so proud of. Which defines their ‘manhood’ for them.
Because it’s not about a woman’s honour. Her izzat. It’s not about her family’s honour. It’s not about the ‘shame’ she has brought upon herself and her family because she ‘let’ herself get raped.
I want to make it about your ‘mardaangi’ and your ‘izzat’ you effing sick b******s.
I want a change in our laws.